Munich, Germany – To improve road safety, many countries are introducing regulations that require drivers to actively yield the right of way to emergency vehicles. As more autonomous vehicles are deployed, regulations are likely to include self-driving vehicles that can also detect and respond to emergency vehicles and meet safety requirements. In numerous instances, this will require a combination of audible and visual warning signals. Today, Infineon Technologies AG announced that it is working with Cerence Inc. to build a solution based on automotive qualified XENSIV™ MEMS microphones (IM67D130A) from Infineon and Cerence Emergency Vehicle Detection (EVD) software. This will enable vehicles to actively detect approaching emergency vehicles, especially when they are not in sight.
“As autonomous vehicles quickly become a reality, emergency vehicle detection will be critical to provide drivers with the information they need in emergency situations,” said Christophe Couvreur, SVP & GM, Core Products at Cerence. “By partnering with Infineon, a global leader in MEMS microphone technology with a strong presence in automotive, we provide OEMs an integrated hardware- and software-based emergency vehicle detection solution that will enhance road safety around the globe.”
“We are committed to collaborating with industry leaders for next-generation innovations. Cerence is a global provider of AI-powered software solutions for vehicles and a great ecosystem partner,” said Frank Findeis, SVP & GM, Automotive Sense & Control at Infineon. “We are able to bring Cerence Emergency Vehicle Detection together with our high-performance MEMS microphones to provide automotive manufacturers with a best-in-class solution to meet demanding market needs.”
Reliable detection, classification and sound localization
The emergency siren detection system provides a complementary detection modality for autonomous vehicles and enhances their perception capabilities. The system combines an array of XENSIV MEMS microphones, strategically placed on the outside of the vehicle, with Cerence EVD.
The XENSIV MEMS microphone is qualified according to AEC-Q103-003 and features an extended operating temperature profile from -40°C to +105°C, enabling various use cases in harsh automotive environments. With a total harmonic distortion (THD) of less than 0.5 percent at a sound pressure level (SPL) of 94 dB and a high acoustic overload point (AOP) of 130 dBSPL, the microphone can capture distortion-free audio signals in noisy environments. This allows signals to be reliably classified even when background noise obstructs the siren tone.
Cerence EVD can be integrated into the automotive assistant or on separate controllers, it uses the microphones to accurately and reliably detect the sound of sirens. In addition, Cerence EVD can estimate the sound source location from emergency sirens of police cars, ambulances and fire trucks. Once a siren is identified, the driver – or, in autonomous vehicles, the automated driving assistant – is informed to react accordingly. Human drivers can be notified in a multi-modal way e.g. volume of the radio or other media is reduced, a visual warning may appear on the screen of the head unit, and acoustic warning is given via the vehicle assistant.
The XENSIV™ MEMS microphone IM67D130A can be ordered. Infineon also offers a development kit that helps developers to quickly evaluate MEMS microphones. The kit enables component-level performance evaluation and can also be used to connect multiple microphones and test different placement configurations on the vehicle. This way the optimum number of microphones and their position can be determined without big effort.
More information is available at www.infineon.com/mems-automotive.
Infineon’s OctoberTech™ 2022 in the Americas
This solution will be showcased at OctoberTech™ 2022, Infineon’s annual technology forum in Silicon Valley on 20 October. The full-day event will feature experienced design engineers, visionary product developers and Infineon executives.